2 meteor showers will light up the sky in July in southern Ontario


Published July 7, 2024 at 10:23 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

Stargazers in southern Ontario are in for a celestial treat as two meteor showers will peak simultaneously later this month.

The Southern Delta Aquariid and Alpha Capricornid meteor showers will be visible, providing a spectacular display in the night sky.

Originating from the constellation Aquarius, the Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower will be active from July 12 to August 23.

According to earthsky.org, the shower’s peak will be on the night of July 28 into July 29, producing up to 20 meteors per hour under optimal conditions. These meteors are typically fainter compared to other showers, and about five to ten per cent leave persistent trains that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.

The Alpha Capricornid meteor shower, which originates from the constellation Capricornus, is active from July 15 to August 10 and will also peak on the night of July 28 and July 29.

Although this shower produces fewer meteors—around five per hour—its meteors are known for their brightness and frequent fireballs, science.nasa.gov notes on its website.

Earthsky.org says the best time to observe these meteor showers is after midnight when their radiant points are highest in the sky.

For residents in southern Ontario, the nights around July 28 and July 29 will provide perfect viewing conditions, as the moon will be in its last quarter phase, setting shortly after midnight and leaving the sky relatively dark for the rest of the night​.

In addition, it is recommended to find a location away from city lights and other sources of light pollution.

You won’t want to miss this rare double meteor shower, which promises to be one of summer’s most spectacular celestial events.

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